Journal of Polymer Science A, Polymer Chemistry vol:43 issue:16 pages:3600-3615
Crosslinking of artificial latices based on ethylene–propylene copolymers (EPM) and/or ethylene–propylene–diene copolymers (EPDM) has not thoroughly been studied yet. Moreover, crosslinking of EPM and/or EPDM particles is a prerequisite for the formation of a shell using seeded emulsion polymerization of, for example, methyl methacrylate (MMA), as described elsewhere. Therefore, the aim of this article is to improve the general understanding of the chemistry involved in the crosslinking process. This work especially emphasizes the influence of the initiation method, that is, a peroxide or a pulsed electron-beam, on crosslinking efficiency. All crosslinking efficiencies were obtained after extraction of the soluble polymer by tetrahydrofuran. The incorporation of the coagent, that is, divinylbenzene, into the EPM/EPDM phase was studied on a microscopic level by solid-state 13C and 1H nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR). Crosslinking of a low molecular weight EPM/EPDM latex requires the presence of a coagent, for example, divinylbenzene, 1,6-hexanediol diacrylate, or poly(1,2-butadiene). The efficiency of crosslinking initiated by a pulsed electron-beam was improved to a great extent by the presence, in the aqueous phase, of potassium nitrosodisulfonate, also referred to as Fremy salt. Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption/Ionization–Time of Flight–Mass Spectrometry (MALDI-TOF-MS) was used to determine the influence of electron-beam irradiation on the chemical stability of surfactants. It was demonstrated that sodium dodecyl benzene sulfonate (SDBS) is not degraded by the irradiation, and is therefore the surfactant of choice for the stabilization of EPM/EPDM-based latices subjected to electron-beam irradiation.